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Under-15 needs ‘bigger push’


rhondathompson, [email protected]

Under-15 needs ‘bigger push’

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by PHILIP HACKETTTHE time has come for a more intense marketing drive geared towards promoting the LIME Under-15 cricket competition.This view was expressed by coach of the Garrison team Elvis Howard following the final between his school and The Lodge School at the LIME Sports Club, Wildey, last Thursday.Lodge defeated the Garrison by 28 runs to win the championship after a gripping final day on which fortunes fluctuated.Howard was quick to congratulate champions Lodge but also took the time to express a few concerns about the tournament, particularly the marketing aspect.“I think that LIME – the sponsors – need to do a lot more. The marketing of this tournament has left a lot to be desired,” Howard said.Work with BCAHoward said that LIME, as the sponsors, should work with the Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) and try to market the competition.“We saw relatively good crowds on hand, but I want to see more incentives for the boys. I want to see a situation where the best players, the leading batsman, the leading bowler are given a laptop computer, free Internet access. “I want to see fellows coming out and giving up their summer holiday year after year being rewarded, being given incentives.“The tournament just ended and there are no monetary rewards. That is something the BCA will have to look at. People may say money is not everything, but at the end of the day playing in the competition is an expense to the school and we need to get some sort of monetary reward at the end to reimburse the school for the money they would have spent on the competition.”Howard, who has been involved in Under-15 cricket from as far back as 1987 as a player and then from 1992 as a coach would also like to see fewer zones and limited overs matches incorporated into the Under-15 season, bearing in mind that the tournament forms part of the preparation for the regional Under-15 competition. The current format utilises three zones and quite often playing time is reduced because of rain.Howard also suggested that in an effort to create greater equality, covers should be available at all venues.“I would like to see a situation where all schools, with the help from LIME, the BCA and Government, can be provided with covers and efficient covers where this competition can be played on a level playing field,” he said.“We should not have a game being played down at the Alleyne School for example without covers while a game at Harrison College is being played with covers.” Howard said.Coach of the Lodge School, Clifton Phillips, was pleased with his players for the hard work they had put in to achieve success.He expressed no concerns about the structure of the tournament but was disappointed that some schools seemed not to have the personnel to fully develop the available talent.“Sometimes you are playing a team and you can see that they are struggling. You can see some talent, but the school may not have someone committed to cricket,” Phillips said.Development“Yes we want to win, but you still want to see the development [in the other teams]. I think that’s the most important thing,”Phillips also spoke of the need for coaches to be flexible at the junior level. He said specialisation was very necessary at higher levels of cricket but at the Under-15 level all-round skills should be encouraged.Phillips, a trained physical education teacher, said that much of the team’s success was due to players stepping up at crucial stages. “At strategic points people came in and picked up the slack,” said Phillips who revealed that he preferred to keep his batting line-up fluid rather than restrict players to the same positions at all times.“At this level, we have to remain flexible as coaches and leaders.”

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